GROVETOWN — Silver Bluff was going to use a lot of players, big lead or not.
But not only did the Bulldogs get a large cushion, all those players helped pad it.
The Silver Bluff boys basketball team used a balanced attack and strong defense to rout Grovetown, 68-45, Saturday evening.
“I wanted them all to be ready,” Silver Bluff coach Robert McKenzie said. “Every guy played at least a quarter.”
Winners the previous night against Edisto in Region 5-AA play, the Bulldogs (7-8) stepped across the state line and wasted no time in building a large lead by using good ball movement and defense.
After Nick Cumming and Blake Robbins got Silver Bluff going, Jaylen Lawrence got into a rhythm offensively as the Bulldogs went ahead 26-12 after the first quarter.
Silver Bluff scored in a variety of ways in the quarter, showing its strength inside in the opening minutes and then connecting from deep three times.
C.J. Cooper scored Grovetown’s first 10 points in the game to keep his team within striking distance early, but six Bulldogs players posted at least seven points and five players made a 3-pointer.
Donte Wright’s bank shot in the third stretched the advantage to 19 points before his 3-pointer to begin the fourth pushed the lead to 28. That was the largest lead of the night.
Silver Bluff – the only remaining unbeaten team in its region – won its second game in as many nights.
In the girls game, Grovetown used a huge opening quarter to spark a 47-38 victory.
The Lady Warriors (14-4) scored more than half of their total points in the first eight minutes, when Dimara Thomas repeatedly got open down the court and received long passes for easy layups.
Thomas scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter to give Grovetown to a 25-7 lead.
But instead of Grovetown coasting from there, Silver Bluff mounted a rally.
Erin McMurray started the push with back-to-back 3-pointers to begin the second period and the Silver Bluff defense held the Lady Warriors to only three points in the quarter.
However, though the Lady Bulldogs cut the deficit to as little as four points, Grovetown’s defense remained strong throughout and clutch rebounding ensured a victory.
“We played like Grovetown in the first quarter,” Lady Warriors coach Jamie Echols said.
“After that we did what we needed to do to hang on.”